Annan, Thai officials conferred on possibility of international talks on Myanmar

15 July 2004

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has discussed with senior Thai officials the possibility of holding international consultations on Myanmar, a UN spokesman said today.

During his trip earlier this week to Thailand, where he addressed the 15th International AIDS Conference in Bangkok and conducted an official visit, the Secretary-General exchanged views with Prime Minister Thaksin Sinawatra, Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai and representatives of other nations on the situation in Myanmar, according to a statement released by a spokesman for Mr. Annan.

In his talks with the Thai leaders, "the Secretary-General underscored the role and responsibility of the countries of the region in helping to accelerate the process of democratization and national reconciliation in Myanmar, beginning with the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi," the statement said, referring to the Nobel Laureate and General Secretary of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD).

The Secretary-General emphasized the need to engage the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).

On the possibility of holding international consultations on Myanmar, Mr. Annan supported the "Bangkok Process" - a meeting first held last December in which 10 Asian and European Government participated - as one format in which they could be conducted, the statement noted.

The Secretary-General also welcomed the support of Thailand and others for the continuing role of his Special Envoy, Razali Ismail, including his return to Myanmar as soon as possible.


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